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22 Magical Things to Do in Bar Harbor Maine

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With its panoramic coastline of Acadia National Park, the best things to do in Bar Harbor Maine are sure to bring out the adventurer in you.

From whale-watching, kayaking, and rock climbing to bird-watching and lighthouses, there are so many things to do in Bar Harbor that you’ll be spoiled for choice.

This charming small town in New England is a nature haven filled with captivating views and activities for everyone to enjoy.

With so many things to do at Bar Harbor Maine, it’s no wonder that it often tops the list of many USA bucket lists.

Whether you’re looking for an adrenaline-filled adventure or peaceful relaxation, this list of what to do in Bar Harbor Maine will make your trip truly unforgettable.

Before we jump into this mega guide of Bar Harbor Maine things to do, let’s go over some quick details to help you plan your trip.

  

An aerial shot of a town on the harbor with buildings and mountains in the background which shows things to do in Bar Harbor Maine.

Explore all the exciting things to do in Bar Harbor Maine from shopping and dining to exploring the outdoors!

In This Post:

Where Is Bar Harbor, Maine?

Bar Harbor is a picturesque coastal town situated along the eastern edge of Mount Desert Island in Hancock County off the coast of Maine, and it’s one of the best places to visit in Maine.

It’s the gateway to Acadia National Park and is home to thousands of acres of spectacular scenery and some of the best things to do in Maine.

What Is Bar Harbor Known For?

Bar Harbor is an adorable resort town on the East Coast with a big personality.

There are so many incredible things to do in Bar Harbor Maine, and these are just a handful of things it’s known for:

  • Natural beauty: Bar Harbor has some of the most stunning natural beauty in all of New England. It’s home to Acadia National Park, which consists of stunning mountains, tranquil lakes, and breathtaking views. There are several trails through the park that will take you past scenic vistas and through lush forests, but more on that below.
  • Abundant marine life: Bar Harbor is a great place to see all kinds of marine life, including whales, seals, dolphins, and puffins.
  • Rich history: Besides its natural wonders, Bar Harbor has an interesting history and culture worth exploring. The town was once a summer home to some of America’s wealthiest families during the Gilded Age, like the Astors, Vanderbilts, and Rockefellers. Many of these estates were destroyed by the great fire of 1947.
  • Delicious, fresh seafood: As you can imagine, with its location on the coast of Maine, Bar Harbor has some delicious seafood offerings. From lobster rolls to clam chowder and mussels, there are plenty of options for seafood lovers here.
  • Unique experiences around every corner: Exploring Bar Harbor is an unforgettable experience. There are several museums dedicated to the history and culture of the area, as well as galleries featuring artwork from local artists. You’ll find so many quirky and unique things to do in Bar Harbor Maine that you can’t find anywhere else, which makes it one of the best getaways on the East Coast.
Blue building with sign that says "oyster bar" with a few American flags, which is one of several things to do in Bar Harbor.

Discover all the fun things to do in Bar Harbor!

Best Time to Visit Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park

No matter when you visit, you’ll experience the magic of Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park during every season.

Below is a detailed breakdown of what you can expect each season so you can plan the best time to take advantage of all the incredible things to do in Bar Harbor Maine.

🌷 Spring: Springtime in Bar Harbor is a great time to visit if you’re looking for fewer crowds. April and May are generally milder, and you can expect temperatures ranging from 45-65 degrees Fahrenheit, making them ideal for hiking and exploring. Plus, the spring wildflowers are in bloom, making it a picturesque time to take in the beauty of this coastal paradise. 

☀️ Summer: Summers in Bar Harbor brings warm temperatures, vibrant colors, and plenty of sunshine which makes it perfect for beachgoers. Summer is considered the peak season, so this is when the town sees most of its visitors. During summer, there are plenty of festivals, as well as various water activities like kayaking or sailing that can be enjoyed along the harborfront. 

🍁 Fall: Fall brings a different kind of beauty to Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park. It’s a great time for leaf peepers as Maine’s mountainsides transform into a tapestry of vibrant colors. If you want to escape the summertime crowds while still experiencing all that Bar Harbor has to offer, fall may be your best bet.

❄️ Winter: In winter, Bar Harbor transforms into a charming winter wonderland. You’ll find plenty of activities like snowshoeing, skiing, and ice skating that you can enjoy. Plus, it’s the perfect time to cozy up with a cup of hot chocolate and take in the holiday spirit! Keep in mind that not all local businesses are open during the winter months, and many of the popular summer activities aren’t available. Plus, some of the roads in the park can be shut down due to icy conditions.

Aerial view of fall foliage in Acadia National Park, which is one of several Bar Harbor Maine things to do.

Bar Harbor Maine things to do are plentiful no matter the time of year!

How to Get to Bar Harbor

If you’re visiting Bar Harbor from further away, there are several airports you can fly into.

The closest international airport is Bangor International Airport (BGR) in Bangor, which is around 50 miles away. From there, you can drive or take a bus from Bangor to Bar Harbor.

If you’re interested in exploring southern Maine, like Portland and Kennebunkport, you can fly into Portland International Airport (PWM) in Portland. Portland is approximately 125 miles from Bar Harbor.

You might be able to score cheaper flights to Boston Logan International Airport (BOS), which is around a 5-hour drive, and you’ll get to explore a piece of Massachusetts as well.

Bar Harbor also has its own small airport, the Hancock County-Bar Harbor Airport (BHB), which has nonstop flights to and from Boston.

Whichever airport you choose, you’ll find plenty of car rental services available to get you to your final destination in Bar Harbor.

Alternatively, you can go on an epic New England road trip and get to Bar Harbor that way. 

Sunset view of a boat in the harbor at Bar Harbor for what to do in Bar Harbor Maine.

The list of what to do in Bar Harbor Maine is endless.

How to Get Around Bar Harbor

Once you’re ready to explore all the things to do in Bar Harbor, your best bet for getting around is to rent a car.

There are so many things to do in Bar Harbor Maine, and surrounding areas, so having your own car will allow you to explore everything at your own pace.

I recommend booking your rental car through DiscoverCars because you can easily compare the prices and policies of several companies at once.

👉 Shop rental cars for your getaway to Bar Harbor!

If you don’t want to deal with driving, you can use the local shuttle bus service, the Island Explorer.

The Island Explorer offers free rides around Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park with various routes and stops throughout the area.

A white sailboat on the water in Bar Harbor for things to do at Bar Harbor Maine.

Things to do at Bar Harbor Maine

How Much Time Should You Spend in Bar Harbor, Maine?

Because there are so many things to do at Bar Harbor Maine, I recommend spending a minimum of three to four days here.

This will allow you to have enough time to explore the area fully, and you won’t be rushed while doing so.

In 3-4 days, you can get a taste of everything Bar Harbor has to offer, from outdoor activities in Acadia National Park to shopping in the downtown area.

You’ll want to spend two or three days exploring the national park because there’s so much to do and see, and it would be a shame not to experience it fully.

Where to Stay in Bar Harbor

The cozy inns, cottages, and bed and breakfasts add to Bar Harbor’s charm and makes it one of the most romantic getaways in New England.

One of my favorite things about visiting Bar Harbor was staying in a bed and breakfast because it had all the cozy comforts of home, plus the added amenities like a delicious breakfast in the morning and friendly front desk staff.

The best thing about staying in these smaller establishments is that most are within walking distance of Downtown Bar Harbor so you won’t have to worry about driving around.

During the peak season, accommodations fill up quickly, so you book your lodging as soon as possible to ensure availability.

Here are the best spots to stay in Bar Harbor:

  • Bar Harbor Grand Hotel: This hotel is located right in the heart of Downtown Bar Harbor and has a historic yet modern feel. They have quite the breakfast spread with fresh baked goods and a heated outdoor pool and hot tub.
  • The Primrose: Constructed in 1878, this bed and breakfast feels like home with its large rooms and tasteful decorations. The staff goes above and beyond to ensure your stay is comfortable and enjoyable. The breakfast is made to order and oh-so-delicious. They also offer tea time with homemade cookies in the afternoon. And it’s only a short walk to downtown. I pretty much had to be dragged out of there.
  • The Elmhurst Inn: This quaint bed and breakfast is a quick walk to the downtown area, and it offers the quintessential New England experience. You can enjoy breakfast on the patio while soaking in Bar Harbor’s atmosphere and beauty. The best part is that the inn is tucked in on a quiet street so that you can relax peacefully.

👉 Check rates and availability for more accommodation options in Bar Harbor.

A bed and breakfast in Bar Harbor adorned in green vines and a red fire put outside.

There are so many cute bed and breakfasts like this one scattered around Bar Harbor!

Is Bar Harbor a Walkable Town?

Yes! Downtown Bar Harbor is very walkable, and you can explore the area on foot without difficulty.

The streets are well-lit so that you can wander without worry any time of the day or night.

With its winding pathways and picturesque views, leisurely strolls are one of the best things to do in Bar Harbor Maine.

Map of Things to Do in Bar Harbor Maine

Map of the Bar Harbor attractions that are discussed in this post.

Map of things to do in Bar Harbor Maine

This map of the best things to do in Bar Harbor Maine shows you where the top attractions are.

Click on the map to print it off and take it with you or to get a larger view of the surrounding area.

22 Things to Do in Bar Harbor Maine

Now on to the best part: all the best things to do in Bar Harbor Maine!

1. Take a Stroll on the Bar Harbor Shore Path

A path along the waterfront with a hotel known as the Bar Harbor Shore Path.

Bar Harbor Shore Path

The Bar Harbor Shore Path offers an unparalleled opportunity to explore some of Maine’s most beautiful coastline up close.

The 1.5-mile path was built around 1880, and it’s pretty easy to walk, making it enjoyable for those of all ages.

The path begins near Agamont Park in downtown Bar Harbor and ends at Wayman Lane right by Main Street.

As you traverse through town, you’ll marvel at some of Bar Harbor’s most beautiful landmarks, like the Schoodic Peninsula, the Porcupine Islands, Egg Rock Light, Balance Rock, and the beautiful Bar Harbor Inn.

Pro Tip: Take a stroll along the Shore Path at sunset for an unforgettable experience! You’ll likely be sharing the path with several tourists and locals, so just be prepared for that. Even then, Bar Harbor Shore Path is one of the top things to do in Bar Harbor.

2. See the Bar Harbor Town Pier

Bar Harbor Town Pier at sunset with a restaurant along the pier.

Bar Harbor Town Pier

The Bar Harbor Town Pier is a classic spot for admiring the picturesque beauty of Bar Harbor.

At the pier, you can take in everything from boats sailing by to seagulls flying overhead.

And if you’re lucky, you may even spot some whales and seals playing in the waters nearby, which is always a treat.

If you’ve ever been interested in how the local fishermen work, you can also catch a glimpse of them unloading their catch at the pier and get a first-hand view of what it’s like to work on the local waters.

3. Cross the Land Bridge to Bar Island (One of the Most Unique Things to Do in Bar Harbor Maine)

A bus and SUV with kayaks while people cross the Bar Island Land Bridge at low tide.

Bar Island Land Bridge

One of the most fascinating things to do in Bar Harbor is to cross the land bridge to Bar Island.

During low tide, you can traverse this natural sandbar that connects Bar Harbor to the small island of Bar Island, which is a part of Acadia National Park.

Along your journey across the sandbar, be sure to take time to observe various wildlife, such as harbor seals, seagulls, and other sea birds.

Once you cross the land bridge, you’ll find yourself surrounded by the natural beauty of the mountains and ocean.

Pro Tip: Plan ahead by checking tide charts before heading out on your journey, and always keep safety first in mind. Once you’re on the other side, don’t forget that low tide won’t last forever, and make sure you return before the high tide returns.

4. Relax at Agamont Park

The Agamont Park Fountain overlooking downtown Bar Harbor.

Agamont Park Fountain

If you need a break from the many Bar Harbor things to do, visit Agamont Park for some much-needed R&R.

Located in downtown Bar Harbor, this park offers a peaceful respite from the adventurous activities found throughout the city.

Spend time admiring its stunning waterfront views of Frenchman Bay, listen to the birds chirp, and soak in the Maine sunshine while you’re at it.

For the ultimate tranquil vibes, grab a coffee from a nearby cafe and enjoy it on one of the park benches while watching the world go by.

Pro Tip: Agamont Park provides easy access to the Bar Harbor Shore Path, so you can explore the coastline after enjoying some quiet time at the park.

5. Set Sail on Frenchman Bay

View from the top of a mountain with several small islands in the bay, which is Frenchman Bay in Bar Harbor.

Frenchman Bay — top things to do in Bar Harbor Maine

One of the top things to do in Bar Harbor is to go on a scenic sailing trip around Frenchman Bay.

Located in the Gulf of Maine, Frenchman Bay is surrounded by the Schoodic Peninsula to the east and Mount Desert Island to the west.

The bay has approximately 39 islands of various sizes, and the beauty of the bay lies in its diverse landscape.

From the spectacular mountain landscape of Acadia National Park to the smaller islands dotting the bay, the joys of exploring Frenchman Bay are endless.

When you set sail on Frenchman Bay, you can explore these islands up close and discover some of the most breathtaking views that Bar Harbor has to offer.

Pro Tip: You can also kayak or canoe around the bay for a more intimate experience. Just pop into one of the kayaking companies around town for more information.

6. Kayak Around the Porcupine Islands

Aerial view of a handful of islands in the bay which are the Porcupine Islands.

Porcupine Islands

The Porcupine Islands are a natural wonderland and one of the most interesting things to do in Bar Harbor Maine.

Just as the name implies, these islands resemble a porcupine’s back, with spruce and fir trees reaching up toward the sky.

This archipelago consists of five islands: Bald Porcupine Island, Sheep Porcupine Island, Long Porcupine, Bar Island, and Burnt Porcupine.

All of the islands, except for Burnt Porcupine, are owned by Acadia National Park and are one of the best kayaking spots in the USA.

The islands are home to a diverse array of wildlife, including bald eagles, harbor seals, and various seabirds, so keep your eyes peeled for these creatures when you set out on your kayak adventure.

7. Explore the Schoodic Peninsula (One of the Most Gorgeous Things to Do in Bar Harbor Maine)

A rocky cove along the Schoodic Peninsula at sunrise or sunsest.

The Schoodic Peninsula is one of the most stunning things to do in Bar Harbor Maine.

The Schoodic Peninsula is home to some of the most stunning scenery in Acadia National Park.

It spans over 2300 acres and offers unparalleled beauty, serenity, and adventure with its rocky coastline, rolling hills, and hardwood forests.

This part of the national park boasts over eight miles of gravel bike paths with breathtaking views along the winding roads.

You can also hike the Schoodic Peninsula, with trails for all levels and interests. Whether you prefer a leisurely nature walk or an intense hike, you’ll find something to suit your fancy here.

Some of the best trails are Alder Trail (0.6 miles), Lower Harbor Trail (1.5 miles), and East Trail (0.5 miles).

One of the main highlights of the Schoodic Peninsula is the hike to Schoodic Head. The hike is 0.6 miles, and you’ll be rewarded with epic views of Cadillac Mountain and Frenchman Bay.

8. Meander Around Village Green

A park with a bench and gazebo with bright green grass which is Village Green in Bar Harbor.

When you need a break from all the things to do in Bar Harbor Maine, relax for a few minutes at Village Green.

If you’re looking for a peaceful and serene setting to take a break from this list of Bar Harbor Maine things to do, take a time out in Village Green.

It’s located right in the heart of Bar Harbor and is a great place to relax, people-watch, and take in the small-town vibe.

Village Green boasts a gazebo, an antique fountain, and several benches, so you can kick back and admire the harbor and ocean views.

You’ll also find some cool shops, restaurants, and cafes in the area, making it an ideal spot to grab a bite to eat or shop around for souvenirs.

9. Catch Sight of Egg Rock Lighthouse

Egg Rock Lighthouse perched on top of a cliff with its red roof and white exterior.

Egg Rock Lighthouse

You can’t visit Maine and not see one of the iconic lighthouses dotting the coast.

Egg Rock Lighthouse near Winter Harbor towards the south end of Frenchman Bay was built in 1875 to help guide the increasing ferry traffic at the time.

As its name suggests, the lighthouse is perched on top of Egg Rock, and the best way to see it is from the water.

It’s still an active lighthouse to this day, but it’s not open to the public. You can, however, take a boat tour and snap pictures of this charming landmark from afar.

Pro Tip: If you prefer staying ashore, you can get a peek at the lighthouse from various overlooks on Acadia National Park Loop Road on Mount Desert Island.

10. Learn About the Lobstering Industry on the Lulu Lobster Boat Ride

A white and red lobster boat in Frenchman Bay.

A can’t miss on this list of things to do in Bar Harbor Maine is going on the Lulu Lobster Boat Ride.

One of the most unique things to do in Bar Harbor Maine is to get an up close and personal look at the local lobstering industry.

Lobstering is an integral part of the area’s history and livelihood, and what better way to learn more about it than on a lobster boat ride?

A great way to do that is by hopping on a Lulu Lobster Boat Ride, which takes you around Mount Desert Island and shows you the lobstering process from start to finish.

This postcard-worthy tour will also give you incredible views of numerous islands and summer cottages along the way, and you’ll also have the opportunity to see wildlife and marine life.

Note: The lobster tour is only offered between May and October.

11. Marvel at the Beauty of Acadia National Park (One of the Most Epic Things to Do in Bar Harbor)

The rugged coastline of Acadia National Park with a bus on the road and orange leaf covered trees.

Acadia National Park

Of course, no trip to Bar Harbor would be complete without visiting Acadia National Park — one of the most beautiful national parks on the East Coast.

Acadia National Park has been enchanting visitors since its creation in 1919, making it one of America’s oldest national parks and most beloved attractions.

This stunning national park features over 48,000 acres of mountains, rocky shorelines, and lush forests that will take your breath away.

The possibilities are endless when it comes to exploring this gorgeous park. Hiking enthusiasts will love exploring the 150+ miles of hiking trails that wind through the park’s landscape.

Nature lovers will appreciate taking in breathtaking views of the ocean while bird-watching or searching for wildlife like foxes, falcons, and cayotes.

If you prefer a slower pace of exploration, you can do a self-guided driving tour and experience the park from the comfort of your car with a preplanned Acadia National Park tour.

 

12. Pop Into Hulls Cove Visitor Center

The exterior of Hulls Cove Visitor Center in Acadia National Park with a brown roof with a sign that says "visitor center."

Hulls Cove Visitor Center

The Hulls Cove Visitor Center is a great place to start your journey through Acadia National Park.

Located off Route 3 in Bar Harbor, this center has information about the park’s history and natural beauty, tips on what to do, maps, and brochures.

You can also ask the park rangers for advice on the best places to go, what to expect from the trails, and how to make the most of your time in the park.

The rangers are so passionate about the park and knowledgeable about their surroundings that it’s worth taking a few minutes to chat with them to get the inside scoop.

Be sure to visit the gift shop to pick up souvenirs and memorabilia so you can always remember your things to do in Bar Harbor Maine epic getaway! 

Note: Check to ensure the visitors center is open before you go because hours can change based on the season.

13. Watch the Sunrise at Cadillac Mountain

View from the top of Cadillac Mountain with fog in the background.

The gorgeous view from Cadillac Mountain 😍

What to do in Bar Harbor Maine? Head to Cadillac Mountain!

Cadillac Mountain is not only the highest peak in Acadia National Park but also the highest point on the North Atlantic seaboard.

What better way to start your day than by watching a stunning sunrise from this incredible spot?

It’s truly an unforgettable experience—the breathtaking views of Frenchman Bay, the surrounding islands, and the cascading mountains make it worth getting up early.

You can reach the top of Cadillac Mountain by hiking, or you can drive up it via Cadillac Summit Road.

Pro Tip: The earlier you get to the summit, the better. It’s a popular spot, so you’ll want to get there before the crowds. And make sure you bring a blanket and jacket because it can get chilly.

14. Enjoy Nature at Jordan Pond

Jordan Pond in Acadia National Park with two mountain peaks in the background and large pebbles scattered around the lake.

Jordan Pond

Jordan Pond is a stunning glacial lake in Acadia National Park and one of the best things to do in Bar Harbor Maine.

Jordan Pond was formed from glaciers, and this body of water reaches depths of 150 feet.

This tranquil lake offers stunning views of the mountains on its shores and of the North Bubble and the South Bubble (collectively known as the Bubbles), two nearby mountain peaks that are part of the park’s landscape.

It’s the perfect spot to relax and enjoy nature’s beauty while surrounded by gorgeous mountains, lush forests, and blue skies.

Several hiking trails will take you around the lake and up to the two Bubbles. You can also rent a canoe or kayak from one of the nearby rental shops and explore Jordan Pond by water.

No matter how you experience this magical place, Jordan Pond is sure to be one of your favorite Bar Harbor memories!

15. Grab a Bite to Eat at Jordan Pond House Restaurant

Jordan Pond House Restaurant with green umbrellas and benches outside of the big building its housed in.

Jordan Pond House Restaurant

If you get hungry during your visit to Jordan Pond, head to the iconic Jordan Pond House Restaurant for a delicious meal.

If there were ever an example of “location, location, location,” it would be the Jordan Pond House.

This family-owned restaurant is situated on the shores of beautiful Jordan Pond and offers stunning views that cannot be found anywhere else in the area.

On a clear day, visitors can see both the North and South Bubble Mountains from their seats on the porch or inside the dining room.

And the food is equally as impressive as the views! The Jordan Pond House serves classic New England fare, including seafood chowder and lobster rolls.

Of course, no meal is complete without dessert! The restaurant is famous for its homemade popovers served with blueberry jam which makes for the perfect end to your meal.

16. Awaken the Power of Nature at Thunder Hole

Two cliffs with water flowing through the middle and people watching on the stairs, which is Thunder Hole in Acadia National Park.

Hearing the water crash at Thunder Hole is one of the most exhilarating things to do in Bar Harbor Maine!

Thunder Hole is a popular spot in Acadia National Park, and it’s one of the most unique things to do in Bar Harbor Maine.

Thunder Hole is an inlet that was created by thousands of years of erosion from both wind and the sea, and it’s truly one of nature’s finest creations.

When the waves crash against the rocks near the inlet, it creates a thunderous sound — hence the name Thunder Hole.

At times, the crashing waves can get up to 40 feet high, creating a spectacle that you won’t want to miss.

It’s one of those places that makes you feel small but also reminds you of the power and beauty of nature.

17. See Otter Cliff

Otter Cliff in Acadia National Park with big pebbles on the shoreline with cliffs protruding in the water with tall trees behind them.

Otter Cliff

Otter Cliff is a 110-foot-high sea cliff located within the national park and was also formed by thousands of years of erosion from the wind and sea.

On a sunny day, you can see the horizon stretching beyond the ocean surface and waves crashing against the rocks below.

It’s an incredible sight to behold and one of the most epic things to do in Bar Harbor Maine.

You’ll get the best view of Otter Cliff from Monument Cove, which is located on the north side of the cliff.

Note: Be careful and use caution when exploring Otter Cliff because the rocks can be slippery, and you don’t want to fall.

18. Walk the Ocean Path Trail

The Ocean Path Trail in Acadia National Park along the rugged coastline.

Ocean Path Trail

The Ocean Path Trail is a 4.5-mile path that runs along the shore of Acadia National Park and is one of the best things to do in Bar Harbor Maine.

This trail offers stunning views of the ocean, nearby islands, and lighthouses. It’s also a great place to spot wildlife like seals, whales, and seabirds.

The Ocean Path Trail is one of the most popular trails in Acadia National Park, so you won’t be alone on your journey, and it’s an easy trail that’s suitable for all skill levels.

Whether you’re an avid hiker or a nature lover just looking to take in the views, this trail is sure to please you!

19. Go on a Whale Watching Tour With Bar Harbor Whale Watch Co

A whale's tail emerging out of the ocean.

Whale watching is one of the most surreal things to do in Bar Harbor Maine.

For a truly unforgettable experience in Bar Harbor, if you’re visiting between May and October, go on a whale-watching tour and see some of the most majestic creatures in the sea up close.

Bar Harbor Whale Watch Co will take you out into the Atlantic Ocean, where you’ll have the opportunity to view some of the most beautiful whales that call the waters off Maine their home.

You might even be lucky enough to spot seals, dolphins, and puffins, and how amazing would it be to cross that off of your things to do in Bar Harbor Maine list?

Not only does a whale-watching tour provide an opportunity for amazing photo ops, but it also teaches you about the local marine ecosystem.

The experienced guides aboard each tour will provide direct insight into how different species live and interact with one another in their natural habitat.

Seeing the whales in action is one of the most magical things to do in Bar Harbor Maine.

20. Learn About Local History at the Abbe Museum

The exterior of the Abbe Museum in Bar Harbor with people standing outside of it.

Abbe Museum — one of several educational things to do in Bar Harbor Maine

The Abbe Museum has two locations (one in downtown Bar Harbor and one in Acadia National Park) and is dedicated to preserving and promoting the history and culture of Maine’s first people, the Wabanaki.

The Wabanaki are a collective of five Native American tribes: Passamaquoddy, Penobscot, Maliseet, Micmac, and Abenaki.

The Abbe Museum offers permanent and rotating exhibits exploring different aspects of Wabanaki culture and history.

The rotating exhibits feature art from contemporary Wabanaki artists and items from past generations, such as artifacts, photography, clothing, tools, and more.

While other museums often focus on cultures that are centuries old, the Abbe Museum celebrates living indigenous cultures that have been present in Maine for thousands of years.

To sum it up, The Abbe Museum is much more than just another museum; it is an experience that will leave you with a greater appreciation for Maine’s original inhabitants and their unique culture.

21. Visit More Museums and Galleries

A sign introducing the "Museum of the Streets" in Bar Harbor which is a self guided tour that takes you around the town's highlights.

The Museum of the Streets is a self guided tour that takes you around some of the best things to do in Bar Harbor Maine.

Bar Harbor has a vibrant arts and culture scene, which is highlighted in the many museums and galleries that dot the town.

You could easily spend the day exploring the galleries and museums, each offering a unique experience.

Some of the must-see museum-related things to do in Bar Harbor Maine are:

  • Bar Harbor Historical Society: This museum covers the history of Bar Harbor, from its early days as a fishing village to its development into one of Maine’s premier tourist destinations.
  • George B. Dorr Museum of Natural History: This museum at the College of the Atlantic is dedicated to the history and ecology of Acadia National Park and Maine.
  • Great Harbor Maritime Museum: You’ll learn about the rich maritime history of Bar Harbor and its surrounding areas at this museum.
  • La Rochelle Mansion and Museum: This historic mansion was built in the late 1800s and is now a museum filled with artifacts from that era.

Some of the best galleries that showcase local art include Artemis Gallery, D’Alessio Gallery, and Oyster Cottage.

22. Indulge in the Delicious Local Restaurants

A lobster roll with french fries and coleslaw on a plate.

One of the many delicious lobster rolls I had in Bar Harbor

One of the absolute best things to do in Bar Harbor Maine is to indulge in the delicious local cuisine.

The name of the game here is fresh seafood, and you won’t find a shortage of delicious lobster dishes, steamers, haddock chowder, mussels, clams, and more.

When it comes to lobster rolls, you must try one from the Thirsty Whale Tavern. It’s one of the best lobster rolls you’ll ever have.

Just walk all along the downtown area, and you’ll find plenty of other eateries, bistros, pubs, ice cream shops, and seafood joints to keep your belly full.

In addition, Bar Harbor also has a great selection of craft breweries where you can sample unique microbrews.

Additional Things to Do in Bar Harbor if You Have More Time

The exterior of the Bar Harbor Inn with yellow umbrellas and tables outside.

Bar Harbor Inn & Spa

Depending on how much time you have, here are a few more things to do in Bar Harbor Maine to add to your itinerary.

The above things to do in Bar Harbor Maine are the main attractions and should be prioritized if you have limited time.

The below attractions are great if you have more time:

  • 1932 Criterion Theatre: As its name implies, this theatre opened in 1932. Today it features live performances, films, and community events.
  • St. Saviour’s Episcopal Church: This church was built in 1877 and features beautiful stained glass windows.
  • Oli’s Trolley: Take a narrated tour of Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park with Oli’s Trolley.
  • Pirate’s Cove Adventure Golf: Putt your way through 18 holes at this pirate-themed course. This is the perfect evening activity for families.
  • Bar Harbor Inn: The Inn is a luxurious retreat situated on the waterfront with sweeping views of Frenchman Bay. Pamper yourself at the spa and then enjoy a delectable meal at one of the on-site restaurants.
A blue multistory building that looks like a house named The Maine Store.

The Maine Store

Things to Do in Bar Harbor Summary

That was a lot of information, so here’s a quick summary of all the best things to do in Bar Harbor Maine:

  1. Bar Harbor Shore Path
  2. Bar Harbor Pier
  3. Land Bridge to Bar Island
  4. Agamont Park
  5. Frenchman Bay
  6. Porcupine Islands (Bald Porcupine Island, Sheep Porcupine Island, Long Porcupine, Bar Island, and Burnt Porcupine)
  7. Schoodic Peninsula
  8. Village Green
  9. Egg Rock Lighthouse
  10. Lulu Lobster Boat Ride
  11. Visit Acadia National Park (the best Bar Harbor attraction)
  12. Hulls Cove Visitor Center
  13. Cadillac Mountain
  14. Jordan Pond
  15. Jordan Pond House Restaurant
  16. Thunder Hole
  17. Otter Cliff
  18. Ocean Trail
  19. Whale watching tours
  20. Abbe Museum
  21. More museums and galleries (Bar Harbor Historical Society, George B. Dorr Museum of Natural History, Great Harbor Maritime Museum, and La Rochelle Mansion and Museum)
  22. Enjoy fresh lobster and local seafood

Things to Do in Bar Harbor Maine Final Thoughts

As you can see, Bar Harbor is a delightfully charming town that has something for everyone.

From the beautiful coastline to delicious seafood restaurants and museums and galleries, there are so many fun things to do in Bar Harbor Maine that will make your vacation unforgettable.

With stunning natural landscapes like Acadia National Park, it’s no wonder that Bar Harbor is one of the most beloved destinations in Maine.

What are some of the things to do in Bar Harbor that aren’t mentioned above? Let me know in the comments below!

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